The Sangamon Valley Trail (SVG) is a great place to walk or cycle. About 12 miles in length, the paved trail follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way from the Cantrall access south to Centennial Park in Springfield.
The short access trail from the Cantrall parking lot intersects the SVG just a half mile south of its northern terminus at Irwin Bridge Road and a couple miles north of the Sangamon River Bridge. Not far from the intersection, the trail passes over Cantrall Creek before continuing on to the Sangamon River bridge. The tree-lined trail is a great place for observing nature, including a nice array of local and migrating birds and many native wildflowers. (For more about nature viewing along the SVG see this post.) The view from high above the river at the Sangamon River Bridge is spectacular. A round trip to the river and back is just over 4 miles–great for walkers looking to get in their 10,000 steps for the day!
From walkers to bird watchers to mushroom hunters and casual bike riders to serious bicyclists, the trail accommodates recreational enthusiasts of all types.
If you visit the Sangamon Valley Trail, share you experience in the comments below!
IDOT is currently studying plans to continue the SVG to the Menard County line and into Menard County to Athens. Menard County Trails & Greenways Trails is committed to staying abreast of ongoing SVG developments. Additionally, we support a dedicated hiking/biking route between Athens and New Salem and Petersburg. Stay tuned, or better yet, get involved with the Trails Committee!
- If you’re biking, please let people know you’re coming up from behind so they can get out of your way–a common warning is “On your left.” It’s often difficult for walkers to hear a bike coming from behind–dangerous for both parties!
- If you’re a walker, yield to bikes by moving to right side of the trail.
- If you’re walking your dog — please take along (and use) a dog waste bag.